Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire
All of Wednesday of our tour is spent here as there is a lot to see.
The fortress of Chaumont-sur-Loire was built around the year 1000AD. Odo I, Count of Blois protected the city of Blois against the attacks of Fulk III the Black (Folque III Nerra), Count of Anjou.
In 1026 the seigneury of Chaumont was given to Gelduin the Young, a faithful vassal of the Blois family in order to compensate him for his loss of Saumur. In 1056, Denise de Fougeres, his great-niece and heiress of his son, married Sulpice the 1st of Amboise. Chaumont then became a property of the Amboise family for almost five centuries.
In 1465 After Pierre d’Amboise rebelled against Louis XI, the king ordered the castle’s destruction. Four years later he pardoned Pierre d’Amboise and gives him subsidies to reconstruct the castle. In 1560 Catherine de Medicis acquired the chateau and forced Diane de Poitiers to exchange it against the chateau de Chenonceau. Between 16th and 18th centuries numerous owners of Chaumont-sur-Loire succeeded each other.
Protected as a historic monument since 1840, the chateau was given into state ownership in 1938 and is now open to the public.
Park and International Garden festival of the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loir
The landscape architect Henri Duchene, transformed the site radically, creating an extensive “English-style” landscaped stretch of ornamental parkland. Work lasted from 1884 to 1888, costing some 560,000 gold francs in the money of the day. Completion of the project provided the chateau with the sumptuous setting it deserved and had previously lacked.
The parc of Chaumont-sur-Loire was designed by Henri’s son, Achille Duchene. Since 1992 it has become a setting for an international garden festival attracting young artists and designers from all around the world. This open-space ‘show-room’ is a rich and exciting experience dedicated to modern landscape design. The show gardens are created around a special theme every year. The whole event is surrounded by beautiful permanent planting set in 32 hectares of grounds.